Dempsey, US roll to fifth win in row
Former Revolution standout Clint Dempsey scored his fourth goal in four games, Michael Bradley and Brian Ching padded the margin, and the United States beat Trinidad and Tobago, 3-0, in World Cup qualifying last night in Bridgeview, Ill.
The win was the fifth straight by the Americans, and virtually assures them of making next year's regional finals. The United States is atop Group 1 in the semifinals of the North and Central American and the Caribbean region with 9 points, 5 ahead of Trinidad and Tobago.
The victory was hardly a surprise. The Americans are 25-1-7 in home qualifiers since May 1985, their only defeat a 3-2 loss to Honduras in September 2001, and have outscored opponents, 21-0, on US soil since 2004. They're also 9-0-2 in World Cup qualifying against Trinidad and Tobago.
The Soca Warriors, forced to play without veteran midfielder Dwight Yorke after he was recalled to his club team in England, had a second-half goal waved off on an offside call. It was the sixth straight shutout for the United States.
Elsewhere, Group 2 leader Mexico topped Canada, 2-1, in dense rain in Tuxtla Gutierrez for its third straight win. Cuauhtemoc Blanco, playing his last match for Mexico, went on for the last four minutes. After 13 years, he announced his retirement from international duty before the match.
In another Cup qualifier in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was booed out of Engenhao Stadium after it was held by 10-man Bolivia to a 0-0 draw and dropped from the leaders in South American standings. The result left the Brazilians with 13 points, four fewer than leader Paraguay after eight matches.
In Europe, Theo Walcott scored three goals and England beat host Croatia, 4-1; Daniele De Rossi scored twice in host Italy's 2-0 win over Georgia; and Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka scored second-half goals to lead France over visiting Serbia, 2-1. Also, Germany had to fight for a 3-3 tie at Finland despite three goals by Miroslav Klose; Portugal lost, 3-2, allowing three goals in the last eight minutes to visiting Denmark; and European champion Spain beat visiting Armenia, 4-0, to extend its unbeaten streak to 25 matches.
On a day when 43 qualifiers were played around the globe, North and South Korea tied for the fourth time this year, playing a 1-1 draw at Shanghai. FIFA, soccer's governing body, moved the match after the North refused to play the anthem and fly the flag of its southern neighbor.